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7 cool treats in historic St. Louis: Part 4

The childhood home of Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame catcher for the New York Yankees and 15-time American League All-Star. Joe Garagiola, also a Hall of Famer, lived directly across the street from Yogi Berra.
The childhood home of Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame catcher for the New York Yankees and 15-time American League All-Star. Joe Garagiola, also a Hall of Famer, lived directly across the street from Yogi Berra.
Photo by Amy Borrelli

Cool treat #4: Enjoy a gelato, Italian ambiance and baseball in The Hill.

For nearly a hundred years, Amighetti’s, 5141 Wilson Ave., has served up baked goods and deli sandwiches (the Special is legendary), but duck in the side door for a special treat from the cafe’s gellataria. Gelato is the Italian version of ice cream, but slow churned and served at a slightly warmer temperature – still cold, but not frozen, and amazingly slow to melt. Amighetti’s tempting flavors include cinnamon, pineapple and pistachio.

Order a large gelato and explore the neighborhood on foot, taking in the smells and sights of The Hill, where many Italians settled at the turn of the 20th century, hoping to find work in the nearby clay mines. Just across the street from Amighetti’s is St. Ambrose Catholic Church, which offers an Italian Mass the first Sunday of the month; here you’ll find the “Italian Immigrants” statue, a symbol of the neighborhood.

By the time you reach Elizabeth Avenue, the gelato will be long gone, but there’s still a treat waiting ahead. The street sign says “Hall of Fame Place,” but the rows of houses up and down the block are unassuming and humble.

Still, three baseball Hall of Famers lived here: Yogi Berra, Joe Garagiola, and Jack Buck. Plaques imbedded in the sidewalk mark their homes; at 5447 Elizabeth Ave., where Berra grew up, oftentimes his relatives are hanging out on the front porch and are more than willing to share stories about Yogi with baseball fans.